Thirty-two year old father and small-scale farmer Matteus Clement is running for the Cobble Hill area director seat at the Cowichan Valley Regional District with the next generation firmly in mind.
"I’m running because I think it’s important to have a voice at the table at the CVRD of someone Tom Hockin, candidate Matteus Clement, candidate with a young family," Clement said. "I’m a young guy with a family who wants to pave the way for the next generation of families in the Cowichan Valley.
There are challenges facing those who want to make their futures in the Valley, he said, particularly for young families, many of whom are struggling to make it because good jobs can be tough to find.
"We need to look at what the next 20, 30 years look like and a lot of the decisions that I want to make are long term decisions," he said.
Issues in Cobble Hill include water and contaminated soil, but Valley-wide issues are also important to keep in focus Clement said.
Encouraging the development of the IT sector is one possibility, he said, and he’s in favour of North Cowichan mayoral candidate Damir Wallener’s idea of developing a technology park.
Clement’s professional experience owning a communications company is also a big strength he brings to the table, he said.
"There’s a lack of communication," he said. "We could really nip a lot of issues in the bud if we had more effective communication."
If elected, he plans to hold once a month community meetings in the area, and would also like to see multi-area meetings, as some issues don’t stop at boundaries.